The Birth Beat : stories, articles and instruction for the modern midwife
Hey birthy-people –
Brrrrr - its chilly, and I don’t mean the nights as the weather grows cooler. The national midwifery vibe is chilly as more and more situations of preceptor abuse and discrimination of midwives of color are brought to light.
Unity is what we preach; but rarely what we practice. As the polarization of factions within the midwifery community grows wider – we have an even bigger job ahead of us - bridging the gap in our words and actions.
Our struggle in midwifery is not unique, in fact, it’s just a microcosm of the challenges we face as a nation politically- albeit with less violence. My friend and community elder, Asha, an ally to the disenfranchised and a friend to midwives, an entrepreneur and philanthropist – owner of Pacific Domes, recently lost her son to racial violence in Portland, Oregon. In witnessing her grief, I am reminded of our shared grief at the shocking injustice in our world. She has been a model on how to love in the face of devastating violence and loss. Her grace and her son’s brave actions have inspired me to persevere in finding the illuminated path through to a peaceful place in myself, in my community and in the world.
As a community Midwives have been victim to ‘moral exclusion’. We modern midwives exist with the genetic and soul wounds of generational abuse, marginalization, and delegitimization by our obstetric sisters and brothers and the medical establishment in general. We all have been and/or are currently being excluded from our sovereign rights to be part of the fundamental solution to women’s health care. With so much subtle and not so subtle violence directed at women and midwives (both now and in the recent and distant past), it's no wonder we fight with tooth and nail to establish our ‘place’ within our society. The challenge, of course, is that some of us have forgotten what we’re fighting and speaking for.
“Opting out of speaking out because we may get criticized is the definition of privilege” – Brene Brown
Let us all denounce our privilege and speak out for what is right both in our nation and in our profession.Inclusion and tolerance are needed in all areas of our life. Two of my mentors recently had a conversation about this very topic – Marie Forleo interviewed and discussed the profound content of the new book, “Braving the Wilderness” with Brene Brown. So much of this book and video can be applied to midwifery:
Stay tuned for a public announcement from Wise Women Consulting this winter – we have some amazing women working on an exciting national project to address racial disparities, practice inequities, and the general sense of ‘LACK’ experienced across much of this country in the profession of midwifery.
Love & light,
Augustine + wise women
Have you heard about our new Wise Women round-table discussions?
Peer-to-peer education, called 'Rounds', has long been a preferred way of staying current in health care practice. Because of the unique way midwives practice (in the communities and homes of their patients - not inside big facilities), they rarely get these opportunities.
Wise Women Rounds is engaging the midwifery community in discussing the current issues of our profession. Affordable online peer-education enables connection of the disparate geographic areas of this country and abroad, as well as furthering equal access to the development of the profession of out-of-hospital midwifery as a whole - contact us for a scholarship application. Please join us for these live quarterly presentations and suggest our next topic here.
Our next topic of discussion being held this Wednesday, September 27, is Stillbirth and the Midwife.
The purpose of this part of the program is to really HEAR and LEARN wisdom shared by mama and midwife experts. The title uses the word stillbirth; but we will be discussing the ordeal and return journey from all forms of perinatal loss. This conversation is designed to feel safe and real for all of us to sit with the pain and heartache without flinching or holding back - as our society so often teaches/models. We mamas, midwives and audience members choose to walk into the fire of remembrance with our panel so that we can learn more about fire - NOT get comfortable putting fires out.
We start from the understanding that ‘even when you do everything right' sometimes (given our resources and information at the time) we can’t prevent death. From this starting point, we are able to break the silence and dig deep into our collective resources for ourselves, our sisters, our mamas, papas, families, and communities. Simply put - this workshop is designed to be a think-tank of healing.
Join three courageous mamas and five fearless midwives who have experienced perinatal loss, along with your co-hosts, Krista Miracle and yours truly. To reserve your spot click here.
Upcoming Advanced Practice Clinical and Business Workshops:
Our flights are booked, our mannequin pelvises are packed, and we’re ready for the slew of workshops coming up! Where will we see you?:
San Diego, CA - 11/1- 11/3
Dallas, TX – 11/6- 11/7
Orange County, CA – 11/10- 11/13
Los Angeles, CA – 11/17- 11/19
Santa Cruz, CA – 11/24- 11/26
Ukaih, CA - 11/29 - 12/1
For more information and to register click here.
Are you interested in bringing Wise Women Education to your community and hosting a workshop? Let us know here!
Lastly, check out my newest blog post on shoulder dystocia here
Please contact me to suggest an article topic and please subscribe to my newsletter.